I’m a Mormon, So…

I’m a Mormon, so I am a missionary.

I’ve promised to share my testimony and the teachings of the LDS Church to the peoples of this world*.

If I were to couch in definite terms two of the most potent convictions in the hearts of the Latter-day Saints, I would name: First, an abiding assurance that the gospel, as taught by the Redeemer when he lived among men and which was later modified, changed and corrupted by men, has been restored by the Redeemer in its purity and fulness; and second, following naturally the first, a conviction in the heart of every member of this Church that the responsibility rests upon the membership of the Church to preach the restored gospel to every nation, kindred, tongue and people.

David O. McKay, In Conference Report, Apr. 1927, 102

This is different than what most think of with the phrase ‘Mormon missionary.’ In terms of an official calling to serve, there are four specific opportunities:

First is the classic missionary who knocks on doors and hands out copies of The Book of Mormon. Single, unmarried young men or single, unmarried young women may devote a specific period of their young lives to serving and teaching. For young men, they may apply for a mission at age 18 and serve for two years; for young women, they may apply for a mission at age 19 and serve for 18 months. This is different than the standard was for years, when men were 19 and women 21.

Serving a mission in that fashion is a commitment to the work -where the young people are called to a specific area; live and work with a companion of the same sex at all times; and follow rules and regimens regarding dress, behavior, daily schedule, service, contact with family back home (though this has also improved), and what sort of media they view or listen to.

Second, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints may be called as a mission president while he is married with a family at home. His entire family travels to the mission site with him and supports him and lives their regular lives for the duration of the three-year calling.

Mission presidents share a variety of responsibilities in their service. They are directed to first maintain their own well-being and that of their families. They instruct missionaries to effectively teach gospel principles as well as to maintain their individual health. In addition, the president assumes responsibility for the baptism of new converts and their initial development as new members of the Church.

LDS Newsroom, “Mission President

Third is older adults who wish to apply for and be called to a senior mission:

You may be recommended to serve as a missionary beginning at the age of 40 if you have no dependent children under the age of 18 living in your home. There is not an upper age limit for senior missionary service as long as you are physically able to meet the needs of the assignment.

Senior Missionary Service

Senior missionaries are usually a retired couple, and they can do the same sort of tasks as the young ones everyone is familiar with. Usually, however, they keep to less strenuous tasks like office work, visits, and training.

Fourth is serving in the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square (formerly known as the Mormon Tabernacle Choir), or in places like the LDS Church museums. Also, within this and the other three categories, an interested person may be called to a service mission.

Missionaries in all these shapes and sizes and ages do not get paid for their service. Certain expenses are covered by mission funds; like subsidization so all missions for young adults cost a uniform amount, housing for the mission president, clothing for the choir members, etc.

©2022 Chel Owens

*Although I’ve promised to be a missionary, this doesn’t mean I’m attempting to convert any readers. My sole purpose in writing about the LDS Church is to inform, clarify confusion, and answer questions.

……

We Mormons are officially members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and are to drop any name but that. Since many recognize the nickname of ‘Mormon’ and it works with the alliteration so well, however, I will use the term.

My other note is that I will keep to official doctrinal practices. I will add my own application of them, especially in response to comments.

My final note is that I LOVE discussing anything I write. Don’t be rude, obviously, but any and all queries or responses are welcome.

My final note beyond the final note is that I do not seek to convert anyone. I am motivated by forming connections, answering curiosity, and straightening pictures. So, you’re safe.

38 thoughts on “I’m a Mormon, So…

    • Chel Owens September 26, 2022 / 2:50 pm

      It sounds fun to me, too! Voice isn’t good enough.

      Liked by 1 person

      • willowdot21 September 28, 2022 / 10:04 am

        Voice should never matter the fact you want to join in should be enough.

        God loves all our voices , good bad and ugly …he made them all didn’t he? 🙂🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Tippy Gnu September 26, 2022 / 11:48 am

    Apparently, you can’t get rich doing missionary work. At least, not in a monetary sense. I imagine some must fight an internal battle, deciding whether or not to take on an official missionary assignment.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens September 26, 2022 / 2:51 pm

      I worked for a company where one of the founders left to be a mission president. He kept reassuring us that the business wouldn’t fail and yada yada yada.

      Yeah; it failed.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. RuthScribbles September 26, 2022 / 12:31 pm

    I’m glad you are not trying to convert. My niece is a member and when her step father (my sister’s husband) asked questions they sent missionaries. There was a big kurfuffke.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens September 26, 2022 / 2:54 pm

      Seriously. People are pushy in the worst ways. A girl scout friend of mine said she’d find copies of The Book of Mormon in her locker. Wouldn’t it make more sense to TALK to her instead of throwing scriptures at her??

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Nope, Not Pam September 26, 2022 / 2:23 pm

    I often wonder how they feel when their spreading the word, there is a rather negative perception to it here where I live, though often see two young men when I go on my walks, and their so nice and friendly

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens September 26, 2022 / 2:56 pm

      I’m hoping it’s better now than in the past. I know some who felt really pressured to convert and baptize, like high-pressure sales and meeting goals. My understanding is there’s much more focus on service these days.

      Like

      • Nope, Not Pam September 26, 2022 / 3:04 pm

        That’s a good thing

        Liked by 1 person

  4. CarolCooks2 September 26, 2022 / 6:03 pm

    I must admit I never used to answer the door if I knew it was missionary’s…I can imagine that its not an easy task or path to follow …

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pam Webb September 26, 2022 / 7:29 pm

    Living next to a Mormon church we did have our share of door knockers when they first opened their doors *sigh*

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens September 26, 2022 / 8:25 pm

      I wouldn’t be surprised!

      Like

  6. Ian Kay September 27, 2022 / 9:33 am

    I bet you knock in the hope of cake! You would get cake in England, it’s in the constitution. 🙃

    Do you log the data? I mean, it’s not a random knocking on doors? You don’t have to remember which doors you’ve knocked on or someone else has knocked on previously? And then you log the reception, maybe a star rated review for each door knocked. I mean, there’s a system, right?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens September 27, 2022 / 10:54 am

      Ha! For cake, yes!

      I’m not sure about the system, as I’ve never been a door-to-door missionary. I’m sure they have maps where they cross out areas and try new ones. From what I’ve heard, they tend to go off recommendations from church members or when someone calls in.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. D. Wallace Peach September 27, 2022 / 11:41 am

    That was a great share, Chelsea. There’s always more to faith traditions than those on the outside looking in can know or appreciate. I know a whole lot more than I did ten minutes ago! I love that you’re sharing your faith and so responsive to questions. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. willowdot21 September 28, 2022 / 10:06 am

    You really need a tough skin to be a missionary of any sort. Sending hugs 💜💜💜

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Michael Westover September 28, 2022 / 3:57 pm

    I’ve heard a couple people say recently that any attempt to influence another person is somehow an act of evil, especially if it’s about religion. Humans are social creatures and built to influence those around them, especially when it comes to sharing the best parts of life. I hope people feel free to share with me the best parts of their religions – the parts that make life valuable to them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens September 28, 2022 / 10:59 pm

      I find that a sound hope and an astute thought. We can’t but help an influence on others, but I’m hardly the sort to turn that into a ‘join my party’ if the person isn’t wanting to.

      Liked by 1 person

      • hbsuefred October 10, 2022 / 8:25 am

        I’ve often wondered and thought that Christianity in its many forms (and maybe Islam as well but I don’t know) seems to have as one its central tenets the conversion of other people to its worldview. Again, based on what I know, this differs quite a bit from other, older religions, like mine (Judaism).

        I think you agree with my view, that believers in any religion should just model their best behaviors and draw people to learn more about their beliefs based on what they see those believers do in the real and large world.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Chel Owens October 10, 2022 / 9:26 am

          I believe it’s in Cat’s Cradle that naming one’s religion as the One True Religion is mentioned, therefore making conversion a necessity. As a side note, I’ve often wondered how religions with a ‘certain number of people get to heaven’ limit get people to convert.

          My view is about what you’ve stated, yes, although more nuanced than any official position. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          • hbsuefred October 17, 2022 / 7:45 am

            I had to look up Cat’s Cradle and based on what I found I assume you mean the Kurt Vonnegut story. I also googled one true religion and the most consistent examples it came up with used quotes from the New Testament which do not seem to directly state that Christianity is “the one true religion”. As far as exact numbers, as I recall Mormonism uses some of those, too, in establishing many levels of “counsels”. These all go to the point that, at least as far as I’m concerned, it’s a gray area when people try to convince other people they’re acting as intermediaries for statements from God.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Chel Owens October 17, 2022 / 10:09 am

              🙂 Yes, Vonnegut. Interesting book. I may have also been thinking of quotes from my anthropology professor in college.

              I wrote about the levels a bit. I find your description a little humorous because aren’t all scriptures and religious leaders “acting as intermediaries for statements from God?” 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

              • hbsuefred October 23, 2022 / 1:56 pm

                Kind of. Though the types I’m talking about are the ones who say they were spoken to directly by God.

                Liked by 1 person

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